I had heard of companies organising hack day competitions but had no idea what people do in such events until recently when i participated in Tele2 Hack Day event on 10th of November, 2015. The event was for one day. The initial motivation for going to such an event came from the free food that they were offering. When we first went there, i was expecting to work on some ideas that the organisers would give us but this was different. We were asked to bring up our own idea, develop it and pitch the idea to the jury. This was unexpected and we were supposed to be a four member team. Though the organisers had already given us contact details of the team members, we could not be in touch until the event day except for one guy whom i knew from college. Only three of us from my team showed up on the day. The other guy was a student from Stockholm University. For the first half an hour we did not talk to each other apart from the initial Hi and hello. Then we asked a member from the volunteer team to help us in suggesting some ideas. She did not give us any idea but told that we can work on anything we want. So, we started with discussing the problems we face in our daily lives. One issue we all faced was carrying too many cards in our wallet. We all agreed to work on a solution to this problem. The volunteers also felt that this was an issue that most of the people face and a solution to such a problem would be a good idea. The three of us had never worked together and one was a complete stranger. But it did not take time for us to work together and shoot ideas to solve the problem. This competition is not only about competing to win the prize but also to help us know different people, people from different backgrounds and also how well one can interact with them and work as a team. This kind of opportunity also helps in networking with industry peoples. The executives of the company mingle with you and are as excited as we are while competing with others.
After putting different ideas on the board we decided to go for one idea that could be done with in a short time. We started to work on the idea. Each one of us were from different study track. I am from Human computer interaction, one was from Embedded systems and the Stockholm University guy was from Game development. So, we worked on different aspects of the idea. My part was to create a mobile app. Before this event i had not made any mobile application. Before this, I had just started with the android app development tutorials but did not have sufficient knowledge to build an app. So, i thought this we would be a great opportunity to fast track my learning of app development. We had to build a basic app with fake datas. I googled the parts i needed for the app. This helped me in getting the idea of how apps are created using android studio software. It took me around 3 hours to complete the basic app which was quite cool for me as i had never build an app. The other members designed the backend of the service we wanted to give to the people to simplify their many cards problem. So in five hours we were ready with the concept for our idea and a mock app to demonstrate and pitch our idea. We still had another twohours left. So, we thought of utilising the time and started playing darts that was beside our area. There were three other teams in the same working area who were wondering what were we upto. They all worked very hard on their ideas, building stuffs and we were playing. This kind a felt weird at the start but once we assured ourself that we had already done what we wanted to do, we continued with the darts. At around 4:30pm we were asked to assemble in the main area with the idea and start pitching to jury members who would visit different teams one by one. Every one liked our idea and they all felt the necessity of such a solution as every one carried many cards with them which they did not like. Some of them were amazed as we had a created a demo app within the time allocated to us.
The entire event brought up new skills in us which we had not explored before. We mingled with unknown peoples. Worked as a team with them, came up with ideas, worked to develop a solution within a short span and pitch the ideas to the jury. This was quite amazing as we had not done such stuffs before but it did not feel like we cannot do these things. At no point were we nervous or doubtful about our idea. I think this confidence and the belief that we had come up with a satisfactory solution helped us win the competition. Though at first it was surprising and hard to believe when we were announced as the winners but later on thinking back on the whole day work we had put up and the kind of solution we provided cemented our claim on the prize. The prize was a Moet and Chandon Champagne which is still with me and we have to decide on a day to celebrate our achievement.